March 2nd, 2008

Going to California

By Marc

I’m lighting out for the territory on Monday for the Health 2.0 meeting in San Diego — and will hopefully arrive in time to join the reception we are hosting that evening.

I’m excited about the event, which will provide yet another opportunity to discuss how new online tools and approaches can be applied to healthcare. It’s pretty timely as last week Google unveiled its own offering to help people manage their personal health data and information. With it, they join Microsoft, who last year launched its Healthvault platform.

Despite the promise of these approaches, according to the WSJ, they both seem to face an uphill battle:

So far, consumers have been slow to make use of services that allow them to set up personal
health records, partly because of concerns about online privacy. Limiting the usefulness of these services, only a small percentage — 14% — of U.S. medical practices keep records electronically, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The HHS is targeting 50% adoption by medical practitioners by 2014.

Once again, the question seems to be, if you build it, will they come? What’s intriguing about this week’s meeting is that Matthew and Indu hope to get users — patients and physicians — on stage to talk about what they are looking for from these tools. That’s key. As I’ve said before, people who use these services will dictate success — and that will depend on whether the services add value and can improve outcomes and, perhaps most importantly, whether people trust these services with their data.

Hope to post more on all this after/during the meeting…

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